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Just a teen with POTS

Cameron, age 17, Virginia

At the age of 14, I had my first POTS episode. I was given an EKG and a chest ultrasound. After a year of on and off symptoms, I had an episode that entirely changed the course of my life. I endured 15 minutes of going in and out of consciousness on my high school gym floor. Unlike the year before, I had constant episodes, sometimes even multiple times a day.

Finally after two years and six doctors, I was no longer told that my body was reacting to my anxiety issues. I was told that I had POTS. Over that summer, I was determined to coexist with my diagnosis, but that didn’t go as planned. I started having an episode at my work. My parents were out of town, and my sister was an hour away from me. My face turned purple. My breathing stopped. My O2 saturation was 53%. I felt everything. A unique thing with my POTS is that I do not fully lose consciousness, so all five of my senses work. Eventually, I was let go due to this episode.

My symptoms and episodes have been growing since then. It is hard for me to participate in my activities of daily living. I practically lost my position on my volleyball team. Nothing could have prepared me for 2024. Ever since the new year, my daily symptoms are so much more increased. On Easter day, I was rushed to the hospital, due to an episode that morphed into what seemed to be a stroke. I was placed in the CVA room, and given two CT scans, one with contrast, and one without. I was deemed NPO, placed on fluids, and given an EKG. My results were read and I was given the diagnosis of a hemiplegic migraine. A few weeks ago I was given an MRI and an MRA, which my results came back normal. I have been told by many healthcare providers that my case is unique, so I have a feeling that I won’t really understand what is fully happening to my body for awhile.

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